To Liverpool, to see
. I struggle and fail to think of a weirder gig I
have been to.
Ms Meredith appeared punctually with her band.
These were Man 1 (tuba
and classroom glockenspiel), Man 2 [hatted] (percussion), Man 3
(guitar, wow!) and Lady 2 (cello, wow! bis). Ms Meredith played keyboard [sic],
clarinet, classroom glockenspiel and snare drums. There were also 2 Apple computers that
seemed to be important to the overall effect. Ms Meredith often
played her snares very loudly, often choosing moments when the Hatted
Man was also choosing to play loud - we liked this.
a poorly captured video
of one of these instants.
Passim there was animated back projection illustrating the themes of
Varmints. My photographic record of this failed
utterly, so just take my word that it was marvellous.
The attendance was about 45, including guest list, which either tells
you that they're a bunch of philistines on Merseyside, or that I am,
for once, well ahead of the curve. Being shy, retiring types we
hugged the back wall until, having played
Meredith instructed us all to come to the stage. We obeyed (but most
of us were
less responsive to her instructions to dance). Ergo, Spike and I
stood about 1m from her, and had we blown kisses at either the drummer
or cellist, they would have noticed immediately (we didn't).
I took lots of photos; mercifully, most of them were crap but here
is a not unflattering one of Ms Meredith:
When the tuba player came onstage, he was carrying what looked like a
binbag which he proceed to put on - it then turned out to be a very
hip garment. During the cellist's solo he sat upstage right and I
captured this picture which makes that clear (I think).
This picture also illustrates the shadow effects at stage back,
exploited fully by the happy fat dancer we met, and by me rather less
another short video
(best seen sans audio).
These people were consummate musicians who played with a production
quality very rarely heard live (although
KC manage it). Both guitarist and cellist had at least
13 fingers (each) since there is no other way they could play with
that complexity that fast. The drummer's skill with very quiet bits
matched his skills with loud bits, the use of a tuba instead of a bass
was inspired, and Ms Meredith's compositional skills with those complex
interlocking rhythms leaves me unable meaningfully to compare her to
The gig was part of
Get It Loud In Libraries which is an absolutely inspired concept.
So if the gig wasn't striking enough already, we were in a library.
I'd travel a long way on
Trennau Arriva Cymru to see her again
Earlier, we had travelled to view the near derelict
council housing, of which more anon.